In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful (1)
First principle deals with beginning the day with Allah’s name. Similarly, with every work that one begins in the course of the day, one should recite Allah’s name before it. Allah promises blessings in that work and blessings in our work is what we need. That is to say, even if the quantity of time remains the same for the work, the quality would improve because Allah showers His blessing in that work for His slave. Some examples of these are daily Sunnah Duas, like of leaving one’s house, entering one’s houseand more. Such Duas help keep out Shaitan out of that work.
All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists) (2)
Second principle states all praise is for Allah – whatever the situation may be, whatever the circumstances may be, we have to say “Alhamdulillah” at all cost, understanding that Allah is controlling all the worlds alone as He is the “Rabb”(Lord) of them.
Suhaib (ra) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” (Muslim)
This helps us maintain a grateful attitude, not only towards Allah but also His creation as they are linked to Him, All Mighty.
Moreover, productivity increases when one is thankful, as Allah says in Surah Ibrahim, Ayah 7:
“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “if you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily My punishment is indeed severe.”
The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful (3)
Third principle is derived from the third verse which states Allah is “Ar Rahman” and “Ar Raheem”. The main lesson to be derived from here is that when we commit any mistake we want our Lord to show mercy and compassion to us, likewise we should mercy and compassion to others when they are in fault, as when forgive others, Allah forgives us. In short, what we expect from Allah we should apply that for ourselves as a principle. Softness beautifies the thing and rigidity spoils it.
Humans are not an owner of mercy but we still show mercy because this quality in our Fitrah is from Allah, who is the ultimate Owner of mercy. Hence, mercy should be a part of us; kindness should be adopted in our lifestyle. Being cheerful and soft-hearted makes one feel productive, even if it be for others. Smile, it is a Sunnah!
The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) (4)
Fourth principle: Remembering that Allah is the Master of the Day of Judgement makes one realize that we will be accountable to Him for all the blessings He has granted to us. Unfortunately, we often forget this reality and waste the blessings of Allah every day, thus we should always be in a state of accountability.
We should be careful of the blessings we receive everyday and to make our day productive we should refrain from wasting them, particularly the blessing of time and health, which we usually don’t value until they’re taken away from us.
Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (sa) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari)
Likewise, we will also be answerable for the five questions on the Day of Judgement. It is said that the person won’t be able to move until s/he replies to all five of them. These are:
- Where did you spend your life?
- Where did you spend your youth?
- Where did you earn from?
- Where did you spend?
- How much did you implement of the knowledge (Ilm) that you gained?
Indeed, this world is a cultivating ground for the result that will bear in the hereafter. Hence, keep in mind you are in a state of accountability 24/7 in front of Allah regardless if we are young or old.
You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything) (5)
Fifth principle: We worship only Allah and seek Help only from Allah; this shows us trust and hope in Allah alone. ‘Alone’ is made specific here to highlight the fundamental of Tawheed. If we get into some trouble, for example if our house gets on fire, the first thought that should come in our mind is to pray to Allah for it, next should be to call the fire brigade. To use the means that Allah has provided us is indeed allowed but the trust in the source of those means alone is Allah!
Seventy thousand people will enter Jannah without accountability, they are:
- The one who never asks for Ruqyah from someone else.
- They don’t believe in superstition
- Who will not ask for cure from fire
- They trust in Allah the most (Bukhari)
Guide us to the Straight Way (6)
Sixth principle: We seek the Straight Path from Allah; we need to understand and get Ilm of Deen every day, learning Deen from Quran and Sunnah; that is the Straight Path. Once, the Prophet (sa) was sitting with his companions and he made a straight line stating this is the Straight Path, the path of Quran and Sunnah.
The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians) (7)
Seventh principle is companionship: good company is blessed by Allah and bad company is either misled or had angered Allah.
Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Apostle (sa) said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” (Bukhari)
We need to check who are we friends with? Our company can make us productive; as believers, we motivate each other to do good and refrain from evil.
We should not be amongst those who will regret not following the Straight Path or about their company as Allah says in Surah AlFurqan, Ayah 27-29:
And (remember) the Day when the Zalim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist) will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger (sa). “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Shaitan (Satan) is to man ever a deserter in the hour of need.” In the end, we never know when death will approach us, it can be in a matter for seconds or whatever Allah wills, but we should try to make our days as productive as possible by following these principles. Moreover, since we recite Surah Al-Fatiha many times a day in our Salah (prayer)it should keep us in constant remembrance about how we can make our day productive by following the seven principles derived from it.
Adapted from a workshop organized by “Youth Talk”. Summarized for Hiba Magazine by a team member of ‘Youth Talk’, Karachi.